About Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
In 2018, Bryan Cave joined with Leighton Paisner to create a new, fully integrated firm. Its origins date back to 1873 when the firm that would become Bryan Cave was established as King, Phillips & Stewart in St. Louis, Missouri.
The firm represents business, institutional, financial, and individual clients across sectors such as energy & natural resources, financial services, real estate & infrastructure, food & agribusiness, technology, and sports, hospitality & retail.
Its level of expertise has resulted in over 40% of the Fortune 500 choosing the firm to help navigate business regulation, competition, disputes, market disruption, and the challenges of globalisation. The firm also represents 30 of the world's top 50 banks.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner works across the practice areas of real estate, corporate, finance, tax, investigations, litigation & dispute resolution regulation, compliance & advisory, and mergers & acquisitions. It employs over 1,400 lawyers placed in 30 offices across North America, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
It prides itself on its 'One Firm' culture , with an open and supportive environment. The company culture consists of six key areas of focus around inclusivity and diversity: disability, family & carers, mental health & wellbeing, gender representation, LGBTQ*, and social inclusion & ethnicity.
In 2019, Stonewall ranked the firm the second most inclusive place to work in the UK.
The firm offers student vacation schemes, graduate training contracts (at its London, Manchester, or Hong Kong offices), and job opportunities for experienced hires. Current openings are listed on the website.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Application Process
As it's a respected global firm, the application process for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is competitive. Applicants are required to submit an online application, complete an online psychometric test, attend an interview, and take part in an assessment centre day.
Only the top applicants from each stage will progress to the following step in the process, so it pays to be fully prepared.
The first stage in the process is to complete an online application. The application form will ask you to fill in your personal details, educational background, and work experience. It will also ask questions relating to your motivation for a career in law, what drew you to Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, your commercial awareness, and the skills that will make you a competent lawyer.
This is your first chance to impress, so your answers should be clear and well-structured. Recruiters have many application forms to sift through, so ensure yours is engaging and evidence-based.
Before submission, check your responses carefully for any spelling or grammar mistakes.
If you are unsuccessful at this stage, you'll be provided with a feedback email with pointers to help you strengthen your next application.
Once you've submitted your application, you'll be invited to sit an online psychometric test. This mixed assessment contains situational judgement and critical reasoning questions, to assess your strengths and suitability for a career with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.
Situational judgement questions present hypothetical work scenarios. They ask candidates to select the course of action that most closely represents how they would react in the given situation. It is important to consider the circumstances and stakeholders involved carefully, so you can settle upon the correct response.
Critical reasoning questions assess a candidate's ability to analyse and evaluate information and draw the correct conclusions. The questions feature a written passage and require candidates to carefully absorb the content, make deductions and inferences, identify any assumptions present, and/or look for evidence to prove the validity of an argument.
All questions on the online test are multiple choice. Unlike most aptitude tests, the Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner test is not timed, but you should still aim for a steady pace. It should take around 45 minutes to complete.
As the test is tailored to the firm, ensure you do your research on the company's culture and values, so your answers reflect the behavioural characteristics sought.
First Stage Interview
If you achieve a high score in the online test, you'll be invited to attend a first stage interview with a member of the recruitment team. Depending upon the circumstances, this interview may be in-person or held virtually.
Before the interview, carefully review the job description. It is also a good idea to revisit your application form responses, as you'll likely be asked questions that build on the content.
The interview will be competency-based, so you will need to be prepared to back up your responses with evidence. To ensure your answers are well-structured, consider using the STAR technique (situation, task, action, result).
To convey your professionalism, dress smartly and pay attention to your body language throughout the interview.
Remember that an interview is a two-way process, so be prepared to ask a couple of questions. Insightful questions can display your curiosity and enthusiasm for the sector.
If you impress in the interview, you'll be invited to the final stage of the recruitment process – the assessment centre. Again, depending upon the circumstances, this may be held in-person at a Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner office or online. The assessment day runs from 9:30 – 15:00.
The assessment centre includes the following activities:
A case study and presentation – For the first task, you'll be provided with a case study and given an hour and thirty minutes to read through the information and prepare a 10-minute presentation. Once you've delivered your presentation, be ready to answer questions from the recruitment team.
A group exercise – The group exercise is designed to assess your negotiation skills. The cohort will be split into two and group members on each side arranged in pairs. Each pair will act on behalf of a client.
You'll have 30 minutes to prepare with your negotiating partner, before entering a 30-minute negotiation with the pair on the other team who were assigned the same client case.
Some of the preparation information will have been shared with both sides, whilst other information will only have been available to one side. This means you will need to be able to deal with unexpected lines of argument and structure a cogent response under pressure.
Following the negotiation, you will be asked a series of reflection questions about your performance and team working.
A final interview – You'll be asked to attend a final interview round with a partner or senior associate. This interview should last around 30 – 40 minutes. It will explore your career motivation, commercial awareness, skills and competencies, and ways of working. Note that there may also be a member of the HR department present.
If you've impressed during the recruitment process and meet all the requirements, you'll receive an offer!
Unsuccessful applicants are helpfully given the opportunity to request feedback on their performance. This is provided through a 10-minute phone call with a member of the recruitment team.